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Identity politics are – by definition – racist




To mark last weekend’s one-year anniversary of the violent right-wing demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia, a meagre two dozen card-carrying white supremacists showed up in the town, vs thousands of anti-racism protesters — proportions that may reflect the nation as a whole. Nevertheless, ever since the 2017 rally, the American left has thrown around the pejorative ‘white supremacist’ with such abandon that you’d think the country was jagged with peaked white hats from sea to shining sea.

By fits and starts, the past 50 years have seen equality of opportunity for minorities in the States improve dramatically. Yet racial rhetoric, and the overall touch-and-feel of race relations on the ground, is deteriorating.

An astonishing 55 per cent of Americans now consider being white important to their identity. I don’t count myself among them. All of greater Europe and its vast diaspora is too diffuse an association to do anything for me. I may be feebly interested in my German heritage, but should DNA analysis prove that my forebears were actually Bangladeshi, if anything I’d throw a party. (‘Yay! I’m not white! Nothing’s my fault!’) I don’t much care about being female or American, either. These are all attributes foisted upon me at birth that I did not choose.

Having little attachment to your race is a luxury, of course. Historically, African-Americans have had to consider their race important, because it was too important, in the worst way, to others. Yet luxuries aren’t to be wasted, so I plan on continuing to be so-what about my skin colour. Progress, to me, involves us all becoming so-what about race — but that’s not the direction we’re headed.

White Americans may be embracing a race long associated with blandness and bad bread in part because they’re within shouting distance of becoming a minority in what they had been regarding as their country. Donald Trump is an aggravating factor, but American retreat to racial foxholes well predates his watch. For I also blame identity politics — which have whipped up racial antagonism, encouraged nakedly anti-white bombast and ushered in a glaring double standard that’s unsustainable. You cannot have black identity politics, and Latino identity politics, without conjuring the pastel version. Yet only ‘white identitarians’ are demonised as driven by hatred. Whites are the sole race the mainstream western media forbids to forge a sense of unity or to defend their own interest. The only identity whites are allowed is self-disgust. Whites who stray from ceaseless self-crit are moral degenerates.

Last week on the PBS NewsHour, a moderator, the New York Times columnist David Brooks and the Washington Post deputy editor Ruth Marcus discussed a 2016 poll by the Institute for Family Studies. It asked some 3,000 non-Hispanic whites, roughly: 1) Do they have a strong sense of white identity? 2) Do they have a strong sense of white solidarity? 3) Do they think whites face discrimination? (After 50 years of affirmative action and the latest consuming obsession with ‘diversity’ in hiring, you wouldn’t have to be demented to suppose that white Americans might face some discrimination. Indeed, one 2012 poll had more than half of white Americans agreeing that whites have replaced blacks as the ‘primary victims of discrimination’, a bridge-too-far assertion I find ludicrous.)

Six per cent of the sample answered strongly in the affirmative to all three questions. The whole NewsHour panel blithely assumed that this 6 per cent supported last year’s Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. For Brooks, the 6 per cent amounted to ‘white identity verging into racism’. Though the poll (whose results I’ve read) never asked respondents if they considered their race superior, the PBS moderator presumed that the awful 6 per cent ‘identified with white supremacy’. Marcus chimed in: ‘It’s not the 6 per cent I worry about, but people who do not think of themselves as racists, do not subscribe to extreme views, who think of themselves as decent people.’

By inference, the ‘6 per cent’ think of themselves as racists, subscribe to extreme views,and aren’t decent. But let’s look at those questions. Ask African-Americans if they’ve a strong sense of black identity, black solidarity and black victimisation, and the majority would say yes to all three. Yet NewsHour commentators would never decry a sense of black identity as necessarily ‘verging into racism’, or presume such respondents supported ‘black supremacy’ and held ‘extreme views’.

The American left urges every race to organise, pull together, demand their rights if not special treatment, recognise their common experience, celebrate their people’s separate history and separate accomplishments — except one. If white people do the same thing, they’re bigoted and beyond the pale. That mixed-message platform isn’t politically saleable in the long term, isn’t actually fair and is already backfiring big-time.

To be clear, I’m not arguing for white identity politics, but against identity politics of any brand. The movement insists that what we are is more important than who we are; that our lives derive their meaning from our membership of groups; that what happens to us isn’t the product of our own decisions but of unequal power dynamics that are bigger than we are. Ergo, your complexion eclipses everything else about you. Identity politics are overtly and explicitly racist. In fact, by cavalierly characterising anyone who embraces a white identity as a ‘supremacist’, that NewsHour discussion was racist as could be.

Keep playing this game, get more white folks playing it, too. Some white liberals will continue to compete over who can seem more ashamed, in an effort to earn themselves out of their skin colour (sorry, guys—doesn’t work, and anything nasty you say about white people still applies to you). But all the other pale faces won’t necessarily tolerate being told that Caucasians alone cannot be regarded as a cohesive people, cannot experience solidarity, cannot feel communal pride, cannot fight back when slandered or stereotyped, cannot advocate for their interest and cannot ever, ever feel sorry for themselves. The sleeping giant of white identity politics? Thanks to misguided hard-left activism, it’s woke.

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Analysis: Ouimet's ouster from Liberals reveals ugly side of politics




Despite assurances by Premier Couillard he would be allowed to run again, the Liberals will replace François Ouimet with Enrico Ciccone.

"I will not hide the fact that the acts taken against me in the last days have been hurtful," said Ouimet, pictured in 2013, at an emotional news conference.

Robert Amyot / Montreal Gazette

QUEBEC — It was, as François Ouimet puts it, the day the ugly side of politics reared its head.

There he was, a man elected to office way back in 1994, a veteran who had slogged through the bleak years on the opposition benches, quietly going about the thankless task of being the backbencher for the riding of Marquette for almost 25 years.

He was never a cabinet minister and was not a big speaker, but despite the perilous nature of politics, Ouimet’s record was unblemished to the point he was named deputy Speaker of the House.

Nobody could question his loyalty to his party or devotion to public service. Around the legislature, Ouimet was considered a perfect gentleman well on his way to obtaining a new term in office.

This time, however, he would attain the coveted honorary title of the dean of the legislature.

The election campaign photos were taken, the date for his nomination meeting set for Wednesday of this week. Heck, the crusts had been cut off the sandwiches and the coffee was brewing in the church basement.

Then came the fateful phone call from the big Liberal party war room announcing the nomination meeting was cancelled. Despite the personal assurance he would be allowed to run again from the premier at a meeting in May, Ouimet was told to clean out his locker.

The party brass argued it was time for renewal. Suddenly, at 58, Ouimet was too old.

The Liberals need Marquette for a rising Liberal star, who turns out to be former hockey player Enrico Ciccone, a man only 10 years younger than Ouimet and with zero political experience.

Ciccone does not live in the riding that includes the cities of Dorval and Île Dorval and the borough of Lachine. With Ouimet still licking his wounds, the party will announce Ciccone’s candidacy at 10 a.m. Thursday.

Emotional, often snap political departures are legion in these halls, but even his Liberal colleagues were shocked Wednesday to see such a genuinely nice guy as Ouimet put through the ringer.

“I dare say I hope what I read in the paper is not the way things happened,” allowed Justice Minister Stéphanie Vallée on her way into a cabinet meeting.

“There’s a sad underbelly in politics,” added Robert Poëti, the minister for integrity in public procurement. “It’s a cruel business.”

By midday Wednesday, the time Ouimet called in the media to announce he had no choice but to leave politics, emotions had peaked.

“I think I deserved better,” Ouimet said, brushing aside tears, his voice choking. “You know, you just feel hurt.

“Politics can be very noble. There are great moments where parties come together; people are looking for the greater good of the greatest number of people. And at times there is this ugly side of politics that rears its ugly little head.

“I will not hide the fact that the acts taken against me in the last days have been hurtful. The agreement (with the premier) was not respected, and that hurts.”

He didn’t mince words about Couillard, either, touching off speculation this party bungle could rebound on the Liberal brain trust in the race to the Oct. 1 vote.

“He (Couillard) looked me in the eye, shook my hand, reiterated his confidence out loud saying, ‘Don’t you worry, I won’t doublecross you, I will sign your nomination papers. You have my word.’

The two spoke briefly one last time Wednesday.

“After I hung up the phone, I realized that his (Couillard’s) promise no longer held water,” Ouimet said. “I thought (being a Liberal) was all about doing politics differently. You know, this is old backroom stuff from the ’50s and ’60s.

“A lot of constituents wrote to me this morning … and a lot of people feel there was a betrayal.”

Conspiracy theories about what really happened abounded Wednesday. Ouimet said one explanation for his ouster could be to make rival Coalition Avenir Québec Leader François Legault look older.

With Ouimet gone, Legault inherits the title of legislature dean, a point the Liberals may add to their arsenal of campaign talking points to say the CAQ hardly incarnates renewal.

Preposterous, Couillard responded later at a separate news conference that rapidly veered into the Ouimet-Liberal train wreck.

Couillard appeared ready to take his lumps, praising Ouimet for his work. He said he had lots of respect and affection for him.

“There are moments in the life of a party leader which are extremely painful,” Couillard said. “Some decisions are very, very difficult to make because they involve people, people we know, that we work with. They are wounds you carry (as a leader) for a very long time.”

He insisted Ouimet was supposed to be the candidate as he promised in May, but the situation had evolved. The party now has more good new candidates than available ridings to park them in and needs Marquette.

Couillard said he can be trusted to keep a promise.

“My word is worth a lot,” Couillard said. “People who work beside me every day know I am a man of my word.”


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Fraser Anning told to 'say something really controversial' or be forgotten – politics live




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  1. Fraser Anning told to ‘say something really controversial’ or be forgotten – politics live  The Guardian
  2. ‘While all Muslims are not terrorists, certainly all terrorists these days are Muslims,’ Senator Anning said
  3. Full coverage

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